back to article Government shells out £2m for ID card compo

The government has released details of how it is paying suppliers £2.253m to compensate them for the cancellation of contracts connected to the scrapped plans for identity card. IDcards In a letter to Labour MP Meg Hillier, immigration minister Damian Green said that the government had paid £2.002m to Thales, £183,000 to 3M …


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  1. ShaggyDoggy

    Good to see

    Good to see the Tories looking after their business chums, while the poor saps that actually bought a card go without

    1. Ben Holmes


      ...their own stupid fault for buying into the pointless scheme in the first place.

    2. Just Thinking

      Its a contract

      Labour entered a contract on our behalf. How are the Tories going to get us out of that without it costing us money?

      You're blaming the wrong people.

    3. PsychicMonkey

      as opposed to

      Labour looking after their business chums by pushing ahead with a pooly thought out, expensive project that no-body wanted?

    4. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


      It was the previous government that signed the contracts with punitive termination charges. Maybe you should be asking why they allowed these clauses to be included. A cynic might suggest that these clauses were put there not by the companies bidding for the contracts, but by the government in order to do some political points scoring when the scheme was inevitably scrapped by the subsequent government, which they would have known by this point would not be them.

      Given the nature of government contracts, I think it is perfectly reasonable for a law to be passed which severely limits, or removes, the possibility of such clauses on such contracts. The suppliers get fat enough already. if they think that there is a risk that they might lose on such a contract, because it is likely to get cancelled, then they shouldn;t be bidding on it in the first place. Then dodgy governments wouldn't be able to push this sort of thing through, against the wishes of the public in the first place.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Alan Johnson's scorched earth policy

        Didn't Postman Al introduce the termination charges very late in the day when it was clear Labour were going to lose the election and that both opposition parties were committed to scrapping the scheme.

        I wouldn't be surprised if similar charges were put on the two magnificent ocean-going white elephants being erected in Gordon Brown's backyard.

  2. JakeyC

    Lesser of two evils

    I'd rather pay a couple of million quid to NOT have ID cards than several billion for having the 'privilege' of owning one.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Labours Fault?

    @ShaggyDoggy - that'll be Labours business chums then as they comissioned the stupid system despite no one wanting it and clearly gave out contracts which by law they have to pay compensation.

    Far better to kill it now, you'd be moaning if you were forced to buy and carry a card so this is a small price to pay to save billions and for personal liberty.

    The poor sods who bought the stupid things deserve all they get, same with any bleeding edge tech, you take a chance to look flash and it often bites you back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "you'd be moaning if you were forced to buy and carry a card"

      That'd be fine, he'd get another excuse to blame the tories.

  4. Paul 5

    why not surcharge the incompetent ministers responsible

    Why not surcharge the incompetents responsible for the signing of contracts which had big penalty clauses when they knew they were likely to be cancelled (or changed, due to mission creep). Even if all the money is not recovered, it might make the current crop of ministers think twice before ripping off the country like that.

    It worked that way when Tory councillors sold off houses on the cheap - so why not with new Labour ministers - or are ministers too important to fail?

  5. BoldMan

    Meg Hillier - BIG FAIL!

    Meg Hillier, the useless MP for my own area was the Minister in Charge of ID so its mostly HER fault that this waste of time and money ever existed. Since she is also a waste of space and breathable eair, it somehow seems a perfect match.

    PS. No I didn't vote for her, blame the brainless trendy twats in Shoreditch for that!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Why do I keep adding a T

      Her name needs a T instead of the second L

  6. MinionZero

    Sounds like effectively a political Booby Trap

    I would have thought that getting a government contract would be good enough news for any company. Ok so the government changed its plans, so end of money from the government, but then why the hell did they (Labour) write in a clause in the contract to give more money if the government wants to stop the scheme?!. The government had the negotiating high ground. They had the money and the companies wanted that money, so the government could dictate terms to the companies and its not as if the government are shy about dictating what to do most of the time!

    So the question then is why the hell would the then government create a clause that punishes the government if they change their plans?!. But then governments don't often want to be seen to be back tracking on their plans, (as that implies they don't really know what they are doing). Therefore by writing in a clause into the contract that punishes any back tracking, that clause can then be used in the future as a way to make people look bad for attempting to change the plans. Its effectively a political Booby Trap.

    That is a very Machiavellian cunning plan to write in a clause to punish (and publicly humiliate) anyone else for wanting to change the plans and looking at these kinds of headlines in the news it looks like it works! :(

    These political Booby Traps for want of a better name also make it less likely other politicians would want to be seen to be changing the plans. That's exactly the thinking of a Passive–Aggressive Narcissistic setting up a way to punish and undermine anyone else who seeks to undermine their plans and then also they get a way to stand back and say, “look its all their fault, its not me”. Two faced devious bastards.

    Meanwhile us poor tax paying sods have to pay for their political chess games! … as if we don't have enough money problems, without these two faced bastards wasting more millions of our money!

    Whoever the government bastards are behind this political Booby Trap clause are, they are utter two faced bastards and we have to pay for it!. So how many more Booby Traps have they all setup in "compensation clauses" ready to waste more of our money?! ... Oh but its in the contract, so they have to pay up ... Yes because two faced political bastards wanted it in the contract!, to make anyone changing their plans look bad and we pay for it! :(

  7. ShaggyDoggy


    who fucking cares

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      You are a troll


  8. lIsRT

    abc and/or 123

    He took the easy way out.

    The coalition should have exercised some gratuitous parliamentary sovereignty and used primary legislation to:

    - fine (call it a "windfall tax") all of the companies involved the amount they expected to make out of the whole scheme.

    -kept the cards valid for the people who wanted one enough to get it, but make them update their details every 6 months with a £10,000 fine for non-compliance.

    An occasional "Fuck with civil liberties and you will get hurt." message from politicians would be nice.

    (Not *just* for flatulent loonies with lots of oil, obviously.)

  9. Mike Richards Silver badge


    Ex ID card supremo Meg Hillier just can't let ID cards go can she? There really should be a support group for her to deal with these distressing separation issues.

  10. druck Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Not a letter but a summons

    It shouldn't be a letter that is sent to Hiller, Blunket and Blair, but a summons for a court appearance so they can answer for the criminal waste of tax payers money spent cancelling the contracts they signed.

  11. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Sounds like effectively a political Booby Trap

    Trouble is without cancellation penalties no company would ever risk a government contract - or if they did they would simply add a 100% markup.

    If I said I wanted you to paint my house, but tomorrow my wife is back and she might not like the colour, in which case you have to repaint it, how much are you going to be charging me for the job?

    But yes this was just a Booby Trap. It wasn't even an old fashioned 'Jobs for the Boys' scam where all the outgoing ministers get directorships at BAe out of the deal

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Dont kid yourselves.,

    WE'RE paying for it, the gubermint is just handing out the £££...

    Twats and the same goes for anyone whom belives otherwise...

  13. Ascylto
    Big Brother


    I know someone who has an ID Card.

    He was, and is, a dick-head.

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